Mealamu eyes set-piece improvement

Date published: November 12 2014

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New Zealand’s Keven Mealamu admits the forward weren’t looking forward to extra scrum practice after a late penalty try at Twickenham.

New Zealand hooker Keven Mealamu admits the forward weren’t looking forward to extra scrum practice after a late penalty try at Twickenham.

England’s late score changed the complexion of the score in an efficient second half performance from the world champions.

Mealamu hinted that the All Blacks would rather have conceded the five-pointer from a penalty try than being shoved back over their own line.

“The front row that was out there, we were just thinking to ourselves ‘man we are not looking forward to Monday’ you know?” Mealamu told Stuff.

“But in saying that it just gives another avenue to get better. We will be able to really break down and look at how we don’t get in that situation again and fix those things.”

“I think the last thing we want to see is our scrum driven over our tryline, as an All Blacks forward pack. There was a bit of movement sideways but we weren’t going to get driven over our line.”

The All Blacks’ lineout was given a stern test by England as the visitors lost three throws, but Mealamu credited England for applying the pressure with their jumpers.

The brotherly threat of Richie and Jonny Gray in the lineout this week will give Mealamu and Dane Coles another test, with the experienced hooker ready for the challenge.

“I thought they competed really well, there was a couple of times when we didn’t deliver the ball well and there was probably a throw or two that was overthrown,” added Mealamu.

“You need to nail your job.

“That is one of the beauties of playing in the All Blacks, that you are not trying to any one else’s job. You are just trying to do your job as well as you can and not having to worry about the man next to you.”

As for Scotland, Mealamu and the New Zealand squad were impressed by their 41-31 win over Argentina.

“It made us just sit up in our chair and really look at them really well this week,” Mealamu told TVNZ.

“They are a good side and they have definitely improved over the last year and we’ll make sure we prepare well this week.”

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